A new automated knob that makes small adjustments to your stove’s temperature is an amateur chef’s dream come true.
A Kickstarter campaign for Meld explains that the device takes guesswork out of cooking, so your meal comes out just as it should.
Say, for example, you’re trying to poach an egg — which requires a lot of attention — and you simultaneously want to cook something without hovering over the stove. Or say you simply don’t want to ruin dinner by overcooking the chicken. The Meld keeps track of the cooking process and ensures the stove’s burners are turned to correct heat settings.
The Meld comes with three key parts: a knob that replaces your existing stove’s knob; a clip that attaches to existing cookware; and a corresponding app, which tracks in your meal’s progress in real time. The gadgets, which begin shipping this fall, are sold together and cost $129 – £88 for Kickstarter preorders (or $149 – £100 when they hit retail stores).
“We wanted to build something that people use every day,” cofounder Jon Jenkins, who previously worked at Pinterest and Amazon. He and his cofounder Darren Vengroff — another former Amazon employee — walked through their houses and identified the dumbest device in their homes.
“That led to the realisation that our home stoves were the most technology-deprived things we owned. Our stoves couldn’t even adjust themselves for Daylight Saving Time and had functionally no difference from the one my great-grandmother used more than 75 years ago.”
Since many already own a kitchen thermometer, the duo reasoned, the biggest challenge was related to controlling the burner’s temperature.
“The Meld Knob contains an algorithm that understands the specific power range of the burner and how it influences the temperature of what’s in the pot,” Jenkins said. “This algorithm analyses the heat dynamics of what’s going on in the pot or pan hundreds of times and it adjusts the burner accordingly.”
While the Nest thermostat was the first major Internet of Things product that put temperature control into homeowners’ hands, Meld wants to have the same impact on the kitchen.
“We’ve got plans for several devices beyond the Meld Knob and Clip and believe the kitchen category will be big,” Jenkins added. “People do have to eat every day.”